Book Review: The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple

The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple is a graphic novel about a demented future where evil shadowmen oppress all of the remaining life on Earth. Children have formed gangs, and it is the ruthless Wrenches gang that seems the best suited to stand against the shadowmen. Hollis, a boy from our world, gains access to the world the Wrenches live in, and somehow finds a home there. However, that is not an easy place to live. This is a science fiction graphic novel about regret, obsession, and the uncertainty of growing up. 

The Wrenches is a graphic novel that left me torn. I loved the ragtag groups of kids struggling to survive and fighting against evil. I liked the fact that there were questions throughout about just what they were fighting for and against. However, I also found myself confused and rereading bits here and there to try to figure out if I missed something. The story, the drama, and the action were all very well done. But, I still found myself confused on occasion. The artwork is very distinctive, clearing showing the filth and distortion of the world the Wrenches were surviving. Because of that, I just did not find it visually appealing, even though I know it certainly had a purpose and portrayed the atmosphere, characters, and emotions better because of that style. 

The Wrenchies is a very well done graphic novel for teens and adults. It is gritty and unpolished, and feels all the more real and emotional because of that. I think that while I like my graphic novels a little prettier, I can see that this raw and emotional story about youth and growing up will appeal to a large number of teens and adults. 

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